A colourful durbar was held last weekend to climax the Bakatue festival of the chiefs and people of Elmina in the Central Region.
This year’s celebration which also marked the 25th anniversary of the Paramount Chief of Elmina, Nana Kwodwo Conduah, was grand and attracted hundreds of patrons from all walks of life, including foreign tourists.
By late afternoon last Saturday, the ecstatic crowd had joined a procession of chiefs in their colourful regalia through the principal streets of the municipality.
The chiefs who received homage, danced gracefully in their palanquins as they were cheered by their subjects and patrons who had lined up the streets before converging on the forecourt of the Elmina Castle for the durbar.
The festival was on the theme: “Buy made in Ghana goods, use made in Ghana products, support Ghanaian industries and create employment for the youth.”
Present at the durbar were the Central Regional Minister, Justina Marigold Assan; the Municipal Chief Executive of Komenda Edina Eguafo Abrem (KEEA), Solomon Ebo Appiah; the Member of Parliament for KEEA, Samuel Atta Mills; the Head of Local Government Service (HLGS), Dr Nana Ato Arthur; the President of the Central Regional House of Chiefs, Odeefuo Amoakwa Buadu VIII, and the Central Regional Coordinating Council Director, Kingsley Agyei Boahene.
Promotion of education
The Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, called on the people to prioritise education to improve on their quality of life.
He said education was a leveller and an avenue for life-changing opportunities and, therefore, urged traditional authorities and communities to support policies that promoted education.
Dr Bawumia, whose speech was read on his behalf by the Chief Executive Officer of the National Lottery Authority, Sammy Awuku, said while the government needed the support of chiefs and the citizenry to further push the education agenda, such support had not been readily given in some cases.
The Vice-President said in every endeavour, including fishing which was the main stay of the people of Elmina, much could be improved if the people had the requisite education and technical know-how.
He also advised them to refrain from dumping waste into the Benya Lagoon and to keep the city clean to attract investors and tourists to the area.
The Central Regional Minister, also urged the people to patronise locally made goods and products to create more jobs and boost the local economy.
Nana Kodwo Condua VI appealed for the dredging of the Benya Lagoon in which most fishing vessels berthed.
He also said that the silting of the lagoon was causing flooding of houses along the lagoon. He said that the government had provided a bus for the Edinaman SHS and also helped fence the school.
The chief also entreated the KEEA to always collaborate with the traditional council before giving out permit to developers to avoid the springing up of illegal structures.
Nana Conduah commended the government for the completion of the Elmina fishing harbour, and called on the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development to help stop illegal fishing practices.
Other highlights of the festival were a maiden Bakatue Trade Expo, a carnival, and Miss Edina Bakatue competition.